MissWatson ROOTs again

Questa conversazione è stata continuata da MissWatson ROOTs again – the second half.

Conversazioni2021 ROOT CHALLENGE

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MissWatson ROOTs again

Modificato: Lug 1, 12:12pm

Hi, I am Birgit and I am happy to be back with the ROOTers! I have got some nice new books for Christmas, and as usual everything I owned before 2nd January 2021 counts as a ROOT. I am aiming to read 75 books from my TBR this year, including re-reads.

Here's the ticker:

Modificato: Lug 1, 12:13pm

And here's the list of books:

1. Das fliegende Klassenzimmer by Erich Kästner
2. Krieger und Bauern by Georges Duby
3. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
4. Die Ritter by Karl-Heinz Göttert
5. Die rote Stadt by Boris Meyn
6. The reluctant widow by Georgette Heyer
7. Einladung ins Mittelalter by Horst Fuhrmann

8. Unterm Birnbaum by Theodor Fontane
9. Clair de lune et autres nouvelles by Guy de Maupassant
10. Monteverdi by Wulf Konold
11. Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope
12. The War in the Peninsula by Robert Knowles
13. Death comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
14. Rifles : Six years with Wellington's legendary sharpshooters by Mark Urban

15. Die King's German Legion 1803-1816 by Jens Mastnak
16. Verschlossen und verriegelt by Sjöwall / Wahlöö
17. Revenger by Alastair Reynolds
18. Piraten und Korsaren im Mittelmeer by Salvatore Bono
19. Madhur Jaffrey's Ultimate Curry Bible
20. Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
21. The Queen's agent by John Cooper
22. The word of Renaissance Florence
23. The beach of Falesá / The ebb-tide by RL Stevenson

24. Der Astronom und die Hexe by Ulinka Rublack
25. Rom : Aufstieg einer antiken Weltmacht
26. Mirjam by Luise Rinser
27. Skandinavische Märchen
28. The mortal word by Genevieve Cogman
29. Old Filth by Jane Gardam

30. The fate of Rome by Kyle Harper
31. Au rendezvous des Terre-Neuvas by Georges Simenon
32. Die tückische Straße by Walter Serner
33. The doll's house and other stories by Katherine Mansfield
34. Liebe kleine Ursula by Margarete Hahn
35. Das Fräulein von Scuderi by ETA Hoffmann
36. Drei Kameraden by Erich Maria Remarque
37. Uncommon danger by Eric Ambler
38. La maison du juge by Georges Simenon
39. Die dritte Kugel by Leo Perutz

40. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
41. Bürger, Bauern, Söldner und Gesandte by Gunnar Teske
42. Heimsuchung by Jenny Erpenbeck
43. Die Schatten von La Rochelle by Tanja Kinkel
44. Die vielen Talente der Schwestern Gusmão by Martha Batalha
45. Les deux régentes by Simone Bertière

And I have also decided to spice up the ROOTing a little bit with the "Read your bookshelf" challenge found on rosalita's (Julia's thread), to be marked in bold.

Gen 5, 8:14am

ROOT #1 is Das fliegende Klassenzimmer by Erich Kästner

This was a re-read, a lovely Christmas story for children and grown-ups.

Gen 5, 9:25am

Hi Birgit, I'm thrilled to see you again for another year. How was your Christmas?

Gen 5, 9:31am

Hi Connie, thanks, it was very quiet! I didn't travel until 26 December because of a cold, and then it was just my sister and me. Normally we spend some of the time visiting museums or shopping, but none of that was possible. Still, we did a lot of knitting and playing board games.

Gen 5, 9:43am

Happy new year, Birgit! I hope you have a good year, of reading and of getting out and about (eventually - I know Germany is locked down right now, like here).

Gen 5, 9:46am

Hi Jackie, nice to see you dropping in. I haven't watched the news while I was at my sister's, so I'm not up-to-date with the current numbers, but I know they are extending the lockdown again. I just went out to buy some fresh stuff today, and then I will stay indoors with my new books.

Gen 5, 9:56am

>7 MissWatson: That sounds like an excellent plan! My sister lives near Munich, and they're pretty much locking down as far as I can tell - my niece is to be at home all the time for now and not go into school at all (which I think she's relieved about).

Gen 5, 10:01am

Have a happy and healthy year of ROOTing, Birgit.

Gen 5, 10:09am

Congrats on getting your first ROOT off the shelf, Birgit.

Gen 5, 11:27am

*waves* Great to see you! Have a wonderful reading year.

Gen 5, 12:53pm

>5 MissWatson: That sounds like a delightful and cozy visit. I'm into Mandela coloring since a few weeks.

Gen 5, 1:33pm

Good to see you back for another season!

Gen 5, 1:34pm

Happy ROOTing in 2021, Birgit!

Gen 5, 5:53pm

Good luck with your ROOTS challenge this year!

Gen 5, 6:32pm

Welcome back! Glad to hear you had a good visit with your sister. Enjoy your 2021 reading!

Gen 6, 8:49am

>9 Robertgreaves: Thanks, Robert! All the best to you, too!
>10 rosalita: Thanks, Julia! I am on my second now.
>11 enemyanniemae: *waves back* Hello!
>12 connie53: That's very restful!
>13 Henrik_Madsen: Thanks, Henrik. I'll be looking for BBs from you!
>14 FAMeulstee: And the same to you, Anita!
>15 Carmenere: Thanks! I'll need it for the big books.
>16 rabbitprincess: Yes, I am happy I could see her.

Gen 6, 8:52am

My last day off work today, and we're having snow, but it's not cold enough, so it melts immediately on the ground. Very disagreeable, and a perfect exuse to stay inside and ROOT.

Gen 6, 9:00am

Here the weather is just grey and gloomy. I went for groceries this morning as I do almost every day. We sold our car a few months ago since Peet had all kinds of accidents with it and nobody dared to ride with him anymore, me included. I don't have a driver-license so need to keep the car. So for groceries I go on my bike and buy as much as the cycle bags can hold. It was cold but dry out. Luckily its only a 10 minute tour.

Gen 6, 9:04am

I just popped out to the farmer's market this morning, but most of them are taking a break. A well-deserved one, too, selling food from a drafty stall is no fun in this weather. My sister gave me a cookbook for Christmas, so I'm trying new recipes...

Gen 9, 7:06am

Hello Birgit! Your Christmas sounds cosy, and how nice to have some new recipes to try.

Gen 9, 8:48am

>21 susanj67: Hello Susan! Veal was on special offer this week and I am making my first-ever Osso Buco this evening. It sounds easy...

Gen 9, 9:03am

>22 MissWatson: Good luck, Birgit. Let us know how it was.

Gen 9, 11:26am

Although a little delayed, wishing you a Happy New Year and much fun with your ROOTing reading. Enjoy trying all those new recipes.

Gen 10, 11:36am

>23 connie53: Hi Connie! It was easy and delicious, although the onions turned a little too brown. A variation on the original including peas.
>25 MissWatson: Thanks for dropping in!

Gen 10, 12:35pm

>25 MissWatson: That's good news. Glad you liked it despite the onions.

Gen 11, 6:21am

>26 connie53: I think next time around I'll add the onions later.

Gen 11, 6:24am

ROOT #2 is Krieger und Bauern by Georges Duby

This is a dense academic book on medieval economic development which I have owned for many years, so long in fact that it now seems dated. He paints a very dark picture of the times. I'm not going to keep this.

Gen 11, 6:28am

>27 MissWatson: That might be a good idea.

I've taken up cooking again. Peet did most of the cooking for the last 20+ years or so. But he doesn't want too since he is feeling bad all the time. So I've to do it and find I like it a lot. But I don't like potatoes, vegetables and some meat or fish. I want a more challenging recipe and love the chopping and experimenting with ingredients.

Gen 11, 6:33am

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Gen 11, 6:35am

>29 connie53: It can feel like a chore if you have to do it daily, but I actually find it helps to put away thinking about work. And I usually look out for recipes that do not involve five pots or too much crockery. Cleaning up takes up too much time already!

Gen 11, 8:01am

I am a very neat cook (if I say so myself) and clean up all things I don't need anymore immediately. Like paper wrappings or plastic containers. I mostly make pasta dishes of things with rice. You make the sauce in a pan and the pasta in another. And done!

Gen 11, 8:52pm

It looks like you have a good start on your ROOTs for 2021, Birgit! I hope your weather is more agreeable soon.

Gen 12, 3:48am

>32 connie53: Yes, that's the perfect combination. Still, it feels as if washing up takes twice as long as eating...
>33 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. The sun has just come out and I have a very entertaining book on the go: The Eyre Affair.

On a side note: the new look of the groups page is a little disorienting.

Modificato: Gen 12, 4:00am

>34 MissWatson: You right about the washing up, but we have a dishwasher so I just have to put things in there. I find that cooking takes up more time then eating the dish itself.

And your right about the new look. I'm really struggling with that.

Gen 13, 9:10am

>35 connie53: I still do it by hand, so that's the least favourite part.
This morning the group pages were all messed up, and much of it didn't work, which I find annoying. We are far too set in our ways, I guess.

Gen 13, 11:07am

>36 MissWatson: I noticed that too. Very irritating.

Gen 13, 12:44pm

>36 MissWatson: I try not to get too wound up about change, but this one doesn't feel like an improvement...

Modificato: Gen 14, 7:42am

No, It just does not work. When you click on the ' 1 unread message' it just jumps to the top of the thread. Perhaps it's a work in progress.

And something went wrong translating the column titles! Niuew is not a Dutch word. ;-)

Gen 14, 4:07pm

>39 connie53: Just a typo, Connie, and my fault. Should be corrected now ;-)

You can translate by clicking "Vertaal!" in the right upper corner, and search for the wrong spelled word on the page. The "save button" is at the bottom.

Gen 15, 4:17am

I did not know that! Thanks, Anita.

Gen 15, 7:24am

ROOT #3 is The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Very entertaining and just what I needed as a break from that very dry history book. I loved Mycroft's bookworms.

Gen 15, 12:37pm

>42 MissWatson: I'm glad you liked The Eyre Affair - I did too. The bit near the end which was a page-long hommage to Lord of the Rings had me howling with laughter.

Gen 15, 1:55pm

>42 MissWatson:
>43 Jackie_K:

I haven't read the Eyre Affair in forever, but all this love for it is making me want to re-read... mostly I remember Pickwick and the grammasites that attacked Hemingway (although that may be in a later book)...

Gen 16, 9:07am

>43 Jackie_K: I think my favourite bits are the bookworms and the way Rochester returned the favour of the interrupted wedding. But there are so many delightful moments in it!
>44 Caramellunacy: I'm happy to learn Pickwick reappears! Grammasites and Hemingway do not show up in this. Are we talking Ernest Hemingway? I'm intrigued!

Gen 18, 6:41am

ROOT #4 is Die Ritter by Karl-Heinz Göttert

A non-fiction book about knights as a social group. No info on armour or horses, just how they are perceived and presented in medieval books, both literary and non-fictional. Quite instructive, and I liked the author's style of addressing a lay readership. He is a professor of German studies and has also written a book about the German language which I need to borrow off my sister some time soon. The bits she read out loud were funny...

Gen 18, 7:10am

>46 MissWatson: That sounds fascinating - reminds me of the medieval section we did in my history class so long ago.

Gen 19, 4:46am

>47 Caramellunacy: Yes, it was, full of fascinating bits, and the author writes well and often humourously. I was fascinated to learn that Duke Leopold (the one who waylaid Richard the Lionheart on his way home and held him for ransom) was wounded in a tournament he held illegally on Boxing Day, told his men to cut off his leg and died of gangrene. I couldn't help thinking: serves you right.

Gen 19, 6:30am

>48 MissWatson:
And so it does!

Gen 25, 4:39am

ROOT #5 is Die rote Stadt by Boris Meyn

A historical mystery set in Hamburg in 1886 when the Speicherstadt was being built. Lots of fascinating stuff about Hamburg I didn't know, and a straightforward mystery, a series of murders solved mostly by paperwork and close study of files.

Gen 27, 10:13am

ROOT #6 is The reluctant widow by Georgette Heyer

This was a re-read after many, many years and I am pleased that it has lost none of its charm.

Gen 31, 8:16pm

Looks as though you're off to a good ROOTing start, too :). #6 sounds like a cute one.

Feb 1, 3:18am

>52 readingtangent: Nice to see you! And I can't recommend Georgette Heyer enough, she writes sparkling dialogue!

Feb 1, 3:23am

ROOT #7 is Einladung ins Mittelalter by Horst Fuhrmann

Well, I finished this on the last day of January. Where did the month go?
This is a collection of essays, revised for republishing but some show their age, especially the one about the effects and surprising success of Eco's The name of the rose. But is comments make me think it's time for a re-read. I haven't looked at it since it was published in German, and I think I would probably get more out of it...

Feb 1, 4:03am

Hi Birgit, just popping in to say Hi!

Feb 1, 4:25am

Hi to you, too, Connie! I hope you have a lovely day? Ours looks to be sunny, which lifts the spirit.

Feb 1, 1:27pm

Well, it was rainy and grey. It was an okay day.

Feb 4, 5:34am

ROOT #8 is Unterm Birnbaum by Theodor Fontane

A short novel about an innkeeper in a small village on the Oder river who has financial troubles. A solution presents itself when he finds the body of a French sldier from the Napoleonic wars under the pear tree in his garden...
The murder is never mentioned or described explicitly, but the atmosphere of village life is perfectly drawn. Fontane is one of my favourite 19th century authors.

In other news: we are having snow, real snow. The cars had almost five centimetres on their hoods today.

Feb 4, 6:48am

>58 MissWatson: I didn't know that one. Sounds interesting and I agree about Fontane: I like him.

Feb 4, 7:06am

>58 MissWatson: We are getting some snow this weekend. So I went for groceries just now and will go again tomorrow.
I can not buy to much in one go, because what I buy has to fit in my bike-bags. I don't like cycling with shopping bags on my steering wheel. To unstable.

Feb 6, 6:56am

>59 Henrik_Madsen: There are quite a few left for me to read.

>60 connie53: Our snow was very shortlived, alas. As long as I don't have to got out. I quite like to see it.

Feb 7, 10:45am

ROOT #9 is Clair de lune {et autres nouvelles} by Guy de Maupassant

I bought this very cheaply at an antiquarian bookshop and have decided to part with it, the paper is brown and the pages started to crack while I was reading. It contains seventeen very short novellas or stories, some with loose endings, and the last one, La Nuit, was quite scary in an atmospheric way. But nothing was truly memorable.

Feb 8, 2:00am

>61 MissWatson: We have had lots of snow in the Netherlands. Not so much where I live but it is freezing cold for the next couple of days. I estimate there is about 2 cm here. But in the middle of the country it's 25 cm. And there is a strong wind bowing the snow to hills on highways. So although primary schools are opened up as of today in some areas they decided to stay closed because it's too dangerous on the roads.

Feb 8, 4:27am

>63 connie53: I just saw that the Dutch government has called condition red for some areas. How are things with you? Here in Kiel we've had no snow, but freezing and fierce storms. And both my sisters report heavy snowfalls where they live, chaos on the roads and all. This could be a tough week. I'm so glad I can work from home now.

Feb 8, 7:03am

Here it's really white and slippery. We had about 3 cm of snow and it will snow all day today and get freezing cold with temp in the night down to - 17 C. In Maastricht it did not snow at all yesterday. I don't know about today. But the middle part of the Netherlands (from the German border to the coast) had had about 20 cm. Since it will be below zero during the daytime too that will stay the same much longer. Perhaps until next week.

And due to the wind it is heaping up on highways and in corners.

Our backyard

Feb 8, 7:11am

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Feb 9, 4:12am

>65 connie53: Brrrrr! It's nowhere near that bad in Kiel, but I've been glued to the TV for news from further south.

Feb 9, 12:44pm

Here everybody is talking about skating on natural ice, that is forming on open water, and about 'De elfstedentocht' (a skating match on canals, ditches and lakes. From Leeuwarden (a city in the North) and ten other cities and villages in Friesland and ending in Leeuwarden again. 200 km!

That has always been a BIG EVENT in the Netherlands. The last one was in 1997 and even King Willem Alexander skated then incognito and finished! So now it's freezing and there is Covid. So no audience and Mark Rutte our Premier has already said it will not happen this year. Lots of people are angry about that. We will see what happens.

Feb 10, 9:53am

>68 connie53: Covid is spoiling so many things. It's really sad.

Feb 11, 3:10am

Let's hope the winter will repeat itself by the end of the year and Covid is far behind us.

Feb 11, 3:22am

>70 connie53: Yes. Fervently.

Feb 11, 2:02pm

Hi Birgit! I just found your thread – belated happy New Year and happy ROOTing in 2021.

>5 MissWatson: When my sister and I get together, unfortunately not often enough, we love to play board games too. I ‘m glad you had a good time with your sister even if you couldn't go to museums and shopping.

>51 MissWatson: Georgette Heyer is one of my favorite authors. I’m glad to hear that your re-read was a success.

Feb 12, 3:42am

Hi Karen, so happy to see you! And thanks for the good wishes. It feels so strange that it is mid-February already. Georgette is one of my favourites, too, a safe heaven whenever I need a bit of romance and sparkling wit.

Feb 12, 3:47am

ROOT #10 is Monteverdi by Wulf Konold

I needed a short break from Orley Farm and pulled this down from the shelf. It is a rather short biography and probably dated, too, as it was published in 1985. It gives the bare facts, as far as they are known, and discusses his importance for music history. The author is a musicologist and the technical terms definitely went over my head. I guess I'll just put on some music instead...

Feb 12, 3:55am

>74 MissWatson: Are you a fan of classical music, Birgit? I'm not really. So I probably feel the same about technical terms.

Feb 12, 3:59am

>75 connie53: Yes, I am, and one of the worst things about the pandemic has been the cancelling of our annual music festival. They are planning again for 2021, the programme will be released in two weeks and I hope we can go to concerts again. I mostly enjoy music from the 15th to 19th century, but there are times when I wish I knew more about the theoretical side of it.

Feb 13, 6:52am

>76 MissWatson: I miss concerts too, Birgit. We are more into modern classical music, and would go 2 or 3 times a year. Listening to a CD doesn't come near the real experience in a concert hall.
I hope the music festival can go forth this year.

Feb 14, 7:47am

>77 FAMeulstee: It is so different from a live event, the sound, the atmosphere, the other people.

Feb 19, 5:50am

ROOT #11 is Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope

Trollope is making a case against the system of English justice here and neglects plotting and characterisation for it. The women are bland and enfuriatingly meek, the males mostly ciphers.

Feb 19, 5:52am

>79 MissWatson: Sounds terrible, Birgit.

Feb 19, 5:56am

>80 connie53: It wasn't terrible, just disappointing compared to his other books. I have come to expext so much more from this author, I loved his Barchester novels.

Feb 19, 6:00am

>81 MissWatson: I get it. High expectations for a author you really like.

Feb 20, 9:53am

ROOT #12 is The War in the Peninsula by Robert Knowles

An odd little book which I found in an antiquarian bookshop. A collection of letters from a young officer serving in Spain under Wellington, and now I feel an urge to re-read the Sharpe series.

Feb 20, 10:25am

>83 MissWatson: And following your urge, I have the urge to watch Sean Bean's Sharpe ... through Flanders, Portugal and Spain...

Feb 21, 11:16am

>84 Caramellunacy: Wait, wait, I'll come along!

Feb 21, 11:21am

ROOT #13 is Death comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

Six years after getting married, Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy get embroiled in a murder. The author knows her Austen, but for me the mystery relied too much on a confession, whhereas the love story of Liz and Darcy was too modern.

Feb 21, 1:07pm

>86 MissWatson: Oh! I agree with that assessment! The mystery was fine, and I actually enjoyed where the author went with Wickham, but I didn't like this version of Darcy & Elizabeth.

I did very much enjoy Matthew Goode scoundreling about as Wickham in the miniseries...

Modificato: Feb 21, 5:47pm

>86 MissWatson: To me, the whole book felt Edwardian rather than Regency.

Feb 22, 3:28am

>86 MissWatson: Yes, it's an interesting cast. I didn't particularly like her version of the colonel (who will now probably get killed in the Peninsula?).

>88 Robertgreaves: I haven't read enough Edwardian fiction to recognise that, but it definitely didn't feel like Regency.

Feb 22, 5:22am

>89 MissWatson: We'll send Sharpe to help Colonel Fitzwilliam - he'll gripe about it, but our dear Colonel will come back alive.

Feb 23, 3:45am

>90 Caramellunacy: Yes, that is a safe assumption. I have not gone back to the novels, but instead started Mark Urban's Rifles and there's so much here that reminds me of various characters in the books. Cornwell really knows his stuff.

Modificato: Feb 24, 2:32pm

>86 MissWatson: I liked the BBC TV version of Death Comes to Pemberly but I couldn't get through the book version for some reason. I understand some of your misgivings with the novel. Keep up the good work with your ROOTing.

Feb 25, 5:39am

>92 This-n-That: Thanks for dropping in! I'll keep it in mind for watching at some time. I do love the BBC's costume dramas!

Feb 26, 4:47am

>93 MissWatson: I do too.

Feb 27, 10:28am

ROOT #14 is Rifles : Six years with Wellington's legendary sharpshooters by Mark Urban

This is non-fiction book, a history of the 95th Rifles from 1809, when they left for Portugal until 1815 and Waterloo. Lots of detail about campaigning and soldiering, and readers who love the Sharpe series will find much in here that is familiar.

Mar 1, 6:56am

February has been an amazingly good reading month, given that it is so short. But now work is pretty busy, so that may cut into reading time in March.

Mar 2, 5:12am

ROOT #15 is Die King's German Legion 1803-1816 by Jens Mastnak

The Waterloo Bicentenary produced a lot of books, and one of them was this PhD thesis about a foreign corps of the British Army, set up when King George's German princedom in Hanover fell to the French and its army was disbanded. The bok is solid, but not exciting.

Mar 2, 9:55am

Hi Birgit!

>86 MissWatson: I read Death Comes to Pemberly in 2012 and only rated it 2.5 - average in my rating system.

Mar 3, 4:54am

>98 karenmarie: Hi Karen! Yes, nice idea, but it fell definitely flat in the execution.

Mar 3, 4:57am

ROOT #16 is Verschlossen und verriegelt by Sjöwall/Wahlöö

Number 8 in the Martin Beck series, a locked-room mystery and a very good, quick read. The books stand up well.

Mar 9, 3:27am

ROOT #17 is Revenger by Alastair Reynolds

This book turned out very different from what I expected after the blurb. It took me a while to feel comfortable with the universe shown here, and there's an extremely high body count which barely seems to affect the heroine. I'm not entirely sure I buy this coldbloodedness...

Mar 9, 3:59am

Hi Birgit. I hope you and your family are doing fine. I see you kept on ROOTing. 17 ROOTs read is awesome.

Mar 10, 3:16am

Hi Connie! Thank you, we are all fine. Reading is pretty much all I do, other than working from home. They are relaxing the lockdown rules this week and I hope it won't lead to another surge in infections. I want to visit my sister for the Easter holidays.

Mar 10, 3:32am

>103 MissWatson: Yes, I can imagine you want to visit her. I haven't seen my siblings in 5 months I think. I hope the infections will not go up when rules are downsized. Here it stays the same, just a few additions to existing rules. And we are going to vote for a new government next week, so that will be a thing too.

Mar 10, 7:30am

>104 connie53: We're having elections, too, this year, and some say that plays a role in the loosening of the restrictions. I hope we won't pay for this later.

Mar 13, 10:38am

ROOT #18 is Piraten und Korsaren im Mittelmeer by Salvatore Bono

This is a non-fiction book about piracy in the Mediterranean in the time from 1500 to 1800. It is usually associated with Barbary pirates, but the Christians did their fair share of pirating and slaving, too.

Mar 14, 9:42am

ROOT #19 is Madhur Jaffrey's Ultimate Curry Bible

Yes, I read this cover to cover, because she offers lots of anecdotes and product information in her book, plus recipes from all the places where Indians wound up during the time of British rule. I have also tried some of the recipes, and they all worked well.

Mar 16, 5:15am

ROOT #20 is Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

This feels a bit like writing by numbers: it's about pirates in the Spanish Main in 1665, so we need a Spanish treasure ship, an impregnable fortress, a damsel in distress etc. Cue one-dimensional characters from Hollywood Central Casting and lots of gruesome deaths. And on top of it all, there's a kraken. This wil leave te house.

Mar 16, 7:07am

>108 MissWatson:
I remember enjoying that one as a bit of fluff when I read it years ago, but can certainly see why it wouldn't appeal. I hope the kraken finds a good new home!

Mar 17, 3:55am

>109 Caramellunacy: Apparently it was unfinished when Crichton died and published posthumously, so that would account for some of the rough bits.

Mar 17, 1:55pm

>105 MissWatson: I hope that too. I think stopping vaccinating with Astrazeneca isn't going to help either. But then I don't want to be injected with a bad vaccine, so better safe than sorry.

Mar 18, 4:42am

>111 connie53: Same here, and it is worrying.

Mar 22, 4:48am

ROOT #21 is The Queen's agent by John Cooper

Since nothing much is known about Francis Walsingham's life it's not really a biography, just a close look at the politics he was involved in during his work at court.

Mar 25, 8:24am

ROOT #22 is The world of Renaissance Florence

I bought this in Florence, several years ago. Several authors explain all aspects of life in the city from 1350 to 1550, sometimes with too much detail and too many names. Lots of typos didn't help, there are no illustrations, so I'm not keeping it.

Mar 25, 9:46am

>114 MissWatson: Seems like a sound decision. No illustrations in a book about Renaissance Florence seems a poor choice. Hope your next read is better!

Mar 26, 4:24am

>115 Caramellunacy: I actually pulled a huge book about Renaissance art from the shelf so I could check the paintings they mentioned. Very unwieldy! At least the current book is off to a good start.

Mar 26, 2:24pm

>114 MissWatson: That would bother me very much. A book about Florence explaining things should have illustrations.

Mar 28, 8:25am

>117 connie53: Yes, and I have no idea why I bought this.

Mar 28, 8:38am

Hi Birgit! I hope you get to visit your sister for Easter.

>108 MissWatson: I love your review and will definitely never acquire Pirate Latitudes.

Mar 28, 8:47am

Thanks, Karen! I bought the train ticket and will be travelling on a work day, so it should be half empty. And at my sister there's just the two of us and her cat. With everything closed – they tightened the lockdown – it will be a very quiet weekend, but at least we get to talk face to face. And there will be cake, because she loves to bake.

Mar 28, 10:32am

>120 MissWatson: I'm glad you'll be able to see your sister for Easter, especially if there is a cat and cake involved! :)

Mar 29, 4:34am

>121 rabbitprincess: He is a very clingy cat, loves to be cuddled and enjoys that there is lots of fish for dinner.

Mar 30, 5:47am

ROOT #23 is The beach of Falesá and The ebb-tide by RL Stevenson

These two stories are in a slim Penguin volume together with the Jekyll&Hyde story, which I did not reread. And even after reading the introduction I don't fully understand what connects these tales, unless it be the evil that men do.
The paperback is very brown and brittle and I am parting with it. They can be found in the public domain online, should I ever want to revisit them.

And that is my final ROOT for March. Tomorrow I'm off to my sister's and will be offline for a week. I hope you enjoy your Easter break!

Mar 30, 9:16am

>123 MissWatson: Have a good break! And a happy Easter to you when it comes!

Apr 1, 12:25pm

>120 MissWatson: Going to a place with conversation and cake? That sounds incredibly and attractive considering how little there is to do right now.

Happy Easter😃

Apr 3, 6:56am

I hope you have a great time at your sisters and her cat!

Happy Easter, Birgit.

Apr 8, 3:33am

>124 Jackie_K: Thanks, Jackie! I hope yours was good, too.
>125 Henrik_Madsen: Thanks Henrik, there was lots o.f book-talk and a fabulous cake.
>126 connie53: Thanks, Connie!

Apr 8, 3:40am

ROOT #24 is Der Astronom und die Hexe by Ulinka Rublack

I didn't pay attention when I bought this, or I would have noticed that it is a translation from English. I usually prefer originals, but this was a non-fiction book, so I assume it's a decent translation.
It was a fascinating subject, about Johannes Kepler and the legal action against his mother who was accused of being a witch. There was lots of local history of Württemberg, the small Southern dukedom where she lived, most of it new to me. Well-written, lots of illustrations and proper end-notes, just my cup of tea.

Apr 8, 7:03am

>128 MissWatson: That sounds like a really interesting juxtaposition of science and superstition (and I am always in favor of lots of illustrations) - glad you found it.

Apr 8, 8:13am

>128 MissWatson: That sounds intriguing!

Apr 9, 2:28am

>129 Caramellunacy: Kepler had some beliefs that seem ridiculous now.
>130 rosalita: It is chockful of interesting stuff if you want to know about life in the 17th century in a small German statelet, but there's also reference to the wider picture of European politics of the time. One of the most satisfying books I have read this year.

Apr 9, 4:12am

>131 MissWatson: It does sound very interesting. Wishlisted

Apr 10, 11:07am

>132 Robertgreaves: I hope you like it if and when you get to it.

Modificato: Apr 10, 11:12am

ROOT #25 is Rom : Aufstieg einer antiken Weltmacht

This is a history of the Roman Republic from its origins to Caesar's death, told by several authors in easily digestible morsels. Useful as a recap of facts, but not nearly enough detail. One for the charity shop.


Modificato: Apr 11, 11:10am

Enjoyed the Pemberly discussion! I didn't know there was a mini-series - I do enjoy those. We have a lot of overlapping interests -- including knitting! I tend to read all over the place.

Apr 12, 5:54am

>135 sibylline: Thanks for droppingin! I haven't seen it yet, I haven't watched a lot of TV during the last couple of years. Somehow I prefer books these days, and I've got so many waiting.

Apr 12, 5:58am

ROOT #26 is Mirjam by Luise Rinser

The author was a well-known writer in Germany in the late 20th century. Here she tells the story of Mary Magdalene in her own words, sticking close to events as told in the Gospels, but giving them a different aspect from a female point of view.

Apr 15, 6:59am

>136 MissWatson: Hi Birgit! I don't watch to much tv. Just listen to it cause Peet watches all day, so it's on. At night I stream certain programs that I follow. I like to do that in my own time. I like watching English or Scandinavian detectives a lot.

You prefer books!!! I could not have guessed that ;-)

Apr 15, 2:31pm

>136 MissWatson: >138 connie53: I also watch very little TV. Pete has programmes he likes in the evening, on Netflix or Amazon Prime, and occasionally terrestrial TV too (although he watches those on demand rather than at the scheduled time), so I'm usually aware of something or other on the TV, but I very rarely watch it. I'll usually be in the same room either reading or looking at the internet.

Apr 16, 3:51am

>138 connie53: I follow the reviews in my newspaper and occasionally I buy the DVD to watch them at my leisure, but lately little has seemed interesting enough.
>139 Jackie_K: My favourite programmes are historical documentaries. The last one was about the real D'Artagnan about whom little is known, but he must have been famous enough in his time for someone to write a book about him. I love to learn stuff like that, especially when it leads to more books.

Apr 18, 8:15am

ROOT #27 is Skandinavische Märchen

A random image sent me to my shelves and the DNB catalogue, and I have found an unread book which must qualify as the oldest in my library. A collection of Scandinavian fairy tales I bought while still in school, as my edition is dated December 1972: Skandinavische Märchen. I read a lot of fairy tales back then and I still keep the Fischer paperbacks I bought in those days, but I have no memory of having read this one before.

Apr 20, 3:52am

ROOT #28 is The mortal word by Genevieve Cogman

This is the fifth book in the Invisible Library series, and I am happy to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. The previous one fell flat for me, but here Irene is back on form.

Apr 24, 8:22am

ROOT #29 is Old Filth by Jane Gardam

The life story of Sir Edward Feathers, a retired judge. A very bleak life as a Raj orphan, sent home from Malaya (as it was called in the days) as a toddler, handed round from school to school, a horrific episode during the War. And yet it was a wonderful read.

Apr 25, 5:06am

>142 MissWatson: I need to get back to the Invisible Library soon, just read the first book.

Apr 25, 1:18pm

>144 connie53: Hi Connie! Irene is such a great character, and I'm looking forward to the next books. They're not ROOTs, though, as they arrived this week.
I hope you had nice weather to enjoy the garden? I took a very long walk today, and it was so good to get out of the house.

Apr 25, 2:45pm

>145 MissWatson: I did, Birgit. Yesterday we visited our son Jeroen who celebrates his 38th birthday tomorrow. So we split the remaining family in two. We went yesterday and Eveline, Cyrille and Fiene and Marie went this morning. So I had yesterday afternoon and today for reading and some gardening work. I enjoyed it very much.

Apr 26, 2:51am

>146 connie53: That's great to hear! I'm planning to buy some new plants for the balcony next weekend, now that it's warm enough to sit there for longer than half an hour. Spring feels so good.

Maggio 3, 8:02am

ROOT #30 is The fate of Rome by Kyle Harper

This took me quite some time to read, as I had to look up lots of scientific terms from epidemiology and geosciences. It explains the fall of the Roman Empire as a consequence of climate change and three raging pandemics, and makes a convincing case. Looking at our current crisis it becomes suddenly very believable that half the population perished in the first bubonic plague. A very rewardingread, let down by the inadequate maps.
And now I need something that goes quickly and easily.

Maggio 3, 8:57am

>148 MissWatson: Inadequate maps are some of the most frustrating things...

Maggio 4, 4:28am

>149 Caramellunacy: It's really annoying to have maps that are inadequate. If there is a map I use it frequently but it has to be a believable one.

Maggio 4, 4:55am

>149 Caramellunacy: >150 connie53: Yes, it was very annoying not to be able to make sense of them.

Maggio 4, 5:27am

>150 connie53: >151 MissWatson: The main problem I have with maps in books is that so many are just downright illegible - usually a black font on a black or dark grey background.

Maggio 5, 7:45am

>152 Robertgreaves: I fully agree!

Maggio 5, 7:50am

ROOT #31 is Au rendezvous des Terre-Neuvas by Georges Simenon

This did go quickly and easily, 183 pages in a comfortably large font. It is an early Maigret set in Fécamp, Normandy. A trawler returns from the Newfoundland cod fishery, the next morning its captain is dead in the harbour basin, and the wireless operator is arrested. Maigret is called in by the young man's teacher, an old classmate of Maigret.
As usual, Maigret mostly listens and tries to understand how the people in this community interact.

Maggio 6, 8:13am

ROOT #32 is Die tückische Straße by Walter Serner

Another quick read which I didn't enjoy very much. The dark side of the Golden Twenties: crime, gangs, people lying, cheating and killing. Well, it's off the shelf. On to better things.

Maggio 8, 3:54am

>155 MissWatson: Not nice at all, Birgit. Glad you can move on to better books!

Maggio 8, 12:07pm

>156 connie53: Thanks, Connie. Katherine Mansfield's stories are so much better!

Maggio 12, 3:31am

ROOT #33 is The doll's house and other stories by Katherine Mansfield

Such wonderful writing! Some of the stories are very short and enigmatic, others lovingly detailed. The previous owner of my copy rated them in the index, and I was amused to find that we have the same favourites: "New dresses" and "The doll's house".

Maggio 13, 10:22am

Catching up -- happy Spring, Birgit!

>128 MissWatson: I just saw on Facebook that one of my husband's cousins has a new grandson named Kepler. A lot of weight with that name :0

>148 MissWatson: Very interesting...wishlisted.

Maggio 13, 12:32pm

>159 detailmuse: Hello and thanks! Spring has been a disappointment so far, it's raining buckets on a holiday and there's more to come this weekend. I hope you find The fate of Rome as fascinating as I did.

Modificato: Maggio 13, 12:38pm

ROOT #34 is Liebe kleine Ursula by Margarete Hahn

One of my childhood favourites. Ursula's first year at school was much like my own: a kind old teacher, learning to write on a slate etc. It is a bit saccharine for modern tastes, I suppose. But on a grey day like today very comforting.


Maggio 16, 7:11am

The weather is really dreadful isn't it, Birgit? Yesterday I went in and out of the garden and finally settled down inside. A good time for a comforting read.

Maggio 16, 7:16am

>163 MissWatson: Yes, it is. We've got a sunny phase right now, but there are dark clouds in the north again and I guess I better put off my walk. Very annoying. But at least there are plenty of books waiting.

Maggio 16, 7:20am

ROOT #35 is Das Fräulein von Scuderi by ETA Hoffmann

In fact, I finally finished an audiobook my sister lent to me ages ago. An early mystery set at the court of Louis XIV and involving lots of historical figures. The prose is a bit overly sentimental and sensational, but that's the fashion of the times.

Maggio 17, 3:37am

ROOT #36 is Drei Kameraden by Erich Maria Remarque

Three veterans of World War I run a car repair shop together and struggle to make ends meet, like nearly everybody else. The narrator meets a girl who dies of tuberculosis, and those scenes were so much more powerful than Mann's Zauberberg. Bleak, but a great read.

Maggio 17, 9:38am

Hi Birgitte! I'm finally getting around to returning visits. You've read some intriguing books this year.

Maggio 18, 2:49am

>166 humouress: Thanks for dropping in! It's been quite a good year, so far.

Maggio 19, 7:57am

Hi Birgit!

>136 MissWatson: etc. I watch TV in the evenings with my husband for 2-3 hours. On days he doesn’t work the TV is on all day, but days he’s at work, like today, the house is blessedly quiet. I do watch things on my cell phone or computer sometimes, but the upstairs TV hasn’t been turned on in a year or more. We use Amazon Prime and Netflix and because we’re in a 50-household high-speed wi-fi cooperative, as part of that functionality we had to get and keep cable TV. More than enough things to watch, for sure.

>143 MissWatson: I’m glad you thought it a wonderful read. I’ve read the trilogy and would love to re-read it sometime.

Maggio 19, 8:42am

>168 karenmarie: Hi Karen! I have come to appreciate quietness, as the world seems to become louder every day. And rustling pages is such a lovely sound!
I hope to get to the next Gardam books very soon...

Maggio 19, 8:45am

ROOT #37 is Uncommon danger by Eric Ambler

This is a relic from the days when I read lots of spy thrillers. Most of them are gone, but Ambler stayed, and for a reason. These are classics of the genre.

Maggio 21, 3:16am

I'm off to my sister's for a long weekend and will be back on Tuesday. No ROOTing for the next few days.

Maggio 21, 4:14am

Have a lovely time at your sister's!

Maggio 21, 6:32am

Thank you, Connie! The weather forecast says it will be cold and rainy, so we'll just stay indoors and pet the cat.

Maggio 21, 9:01am

Have fun!

Modificato: Maggio 26, 7:46am

>174 humouress: Thanks! The weather was much better than expected and we had nice long walks inspecting other people's gardens. Everything is so much behind.

Maggio 26, 7:49am

ROOT #38 is La maison du juge by Georges Simenon

Another Maigret mystery, he has been transferred to a small town in the Vendée and is called to investigarte a death in a small fishing village. Lots of seafront description that made me long for a vacation...
And this puts me past the halfway point, yay!

Maggio 28, 3:55am

ROOT #39 is Die dritte Kugel by Leo Perutz

A tale from the Conquest of Mexico with a phantastical twist. A group of German mercenaries get mixed up with Cortez' band of greedy, rapacious and superstitious soldiers and there is a curse. The author has an amazing knack for taking you back in time simply by choosing contemporary language. A great read.

Giu 5, 11:28am

ROOT #40 is Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

I felt really sorry for Antoinette.

Giu 5, 12:26pm

>178 MissWatson: Yes, me too. I thought it was an amazing book, but so very oppressive.

Giu 6, 5:39am

>179 Jackie_K: Oppressive, yes, that's the word. It seems she had no one to turn to, in that tattered family.

Modificato: Giu 10, 3:37am

ROOT #41 is Bürger, Bauern, Söldner und Gesandte by Gunnar Teske

A non-fiction history of the Thirty Years' War in my native region, Westfalia. I learned a lot from this which wasn't covered in school history lessons, they always looked at the big picture. Richly illustrated and a proper map showing how much the region was splintered into tiny reigns and dominions.

Giu 10, 3:42am

ROOT #42 is Heimsuchung by Jenny Erpenbeck

This is a short book in an elderly-friendly font size, and yet it takes some time to read because you need to pay close attention. It tells the story of a house on the shore of a lake in the Mark Brandenburg, from the time when the plot is sold by a farmer to the time it is torn down again and thus covers a century of German history. Many characters pass through, most of them have no names, and it is sometimes difficult to keep track of them and the passing time. But it is a very rewarding read, making you reflect on home, time, past and present. A keeper.

Giu 10, 4:12am

>182 MissWatson: I have liked/loved all of Jenny Erpenbeck books I have read, including this one.
Glad to see you liked it too.

Giu 10, 6:06am

>183 FAMeulstee: Yes, I'm definitely on the lookout for more.

Giu 10, 4:17pm

>182 MissWatson: That sounds wonderful. If available in Germany, you might also enjoy the graphic-format Here by Richard McGuire. I grew up in a 100+ year old house; the one I've lived in for 30 years turns 95 this year, and I often wonder about its prior residents. Onto the wishlist!

Giu 11, 6:48am

>185 detailmuse: There's a German translation, so it should float around somewhere. There's a strange coincidence here, too, because Erpenbeck starts her book with a prologue about the ice age shaping the geological formation, and there's mention of the geological strata whenever the gardener has to dig a hole for planting a new tree.

Modificato: Giu 12, 11:21am

ROOT #43 is Die Schatten von La Rochelle by Tanja Kinkel

This was a great read about Richelieu and his niece Marie. Mostly set in the last year of his life, it features the Cinq-Mars conspiracy. One of the conspirators is a survivor of the siege of La Rochelle and plans revenge on the cardinal, and that's the only part not based on real events.
And as a strange coincidence, we go back in one chapter to Luçon, where Richelieu's held his first bishopric. The same Luçon where Maigret is exiled in La maison du juge and i couldn't help wondering, if Simenon knew this and meant something by it.

Giu 17, 1:01pm

We're having a heatwave and I'm glad to be spending the weekend at my sister's, where the temperatures are a bit more suitable for us. Or so we hope. And there will be a few new acquisitions in the children's section...

Giu 22, 6:26am

ROOT #44 is Die vielen Talente der Schwestern Gusmão by Martha Batalha

This is a family story from Rio de Janeiro in the early 20th century, mostly about Eurídice and her sister. Full of fascinating stuff about daily life in a part of the world I know little about.

Giu 28, 6:13am

Hi Birgit. Sorry for not visiting your thread for such a long time. I've been busy with things around Peet and enjoying the nice weather we had. I just tried to keep my own thread updated. I hope you are all right and reading good books. Did you have a nice (more cool) time at your sisters?

Giu 29, 3:16am

Hi Connie, nice to "see" you. Thanks for asking, yes, we had a lovely time at my sister's and went swimming in a lake, which is still deliciously cool!

Giu 29, 3:21am

ROOT #45 is Les deux régentes by Simone Bertière

I picked this up because I wanted to read up on the times of Richelieu, and this has been on my shelves for at least ten years. It is mostly concerned with the queens Marie de Médicis and Anne d'Autriche, so you need to have a little grounding in the factual history going in. And a family tree is essential to keep all those Bourbons straight.

Modificato: Lug 1, 12:20pm

Where did the first half of the year go? So I think this is a good time to start a new thread. I hope to see you there!
Questa conversazione è stata continuata da MissWatson ROOTs again – the second half.